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Hearing Loss: The Genetic Link

Part One of Two

While most of you are probably familiar with common causes of hearing loss like old age or loud noise, many are likely unaware of the numerous genetic links and syndromes that can cause or contribute to hearing loss. Around 50 to 60 percent of hearing loss in children is caused by their genetics, while 25 percent is due to environmental causes like infections during pregnancy and complications post-birth. In the grand scheme of things, how does it all work?

Some facts about genetics

Genes form the instructional manual for your body. They tell it what your hair color will be or if you will develop freckles.  Half of your genes come from your mother and the other your father. But if any of the inherited genes are mutated (defective), hearing loss is a possible outcome. It all depends on the type of chromosome that would be affected (X or Y) and whether it is dominant or recessive. Inherited hearing loss can occur at birth or at any stage in a person’s life. There are four ways these disorders can be inherited:

Learn more about genetic hearing loss

Next week, we’ll go into more detail on the different types of genetic hearing loss and list the top ten disorders linked to it. In the meantime, it is never a bad idea to learn if you are having hearing loss symptoms. When you hear clearly, life sounds brilliant!